Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World

benjamin franklin: in search of a better world

Online Site Support Notebook: Related Web Sites
The web site of the Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary, which contains many resources to aid library program planning and exhibit interpretation to the public.

Following is a list of websites related to the Benjamin Franklin exhibit and related topics. This list was developed by using selected web sites from a list prepared by the Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary, with some additions by ALA. The link to the Tercentenary's list of web sites is

Please note that neither the Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary nor the American Library Association maintain these sites and are not responsible for their content.

General Interest Web Sites
Produced by the Library of Congress, this website is an online version of “Benjamin Franklin…In His Own Words,” an exhibition focusing on Franklin's achievements as a printer and writer, an inventor and scientist, and, particularly, as a politician and statesman.
This PBS website derives from a three-part series on Benjamin Franklin's life and work. Learn more about Franklin in his roles as exemplary citizen, prolific writer, eminent scientist, and worldly diplomat. With lesson plans for teachers, an interactive timeline, and a long list of resources.
This site, created by Benjamin Franklin scholar J.A. Leo Lemay, initially was compiled as a resource for a biography of Franklin. It offers an all-comprehensive chronology of Franklin's deeds and writings, largely drawn from the Franklin Papers published by Yale University Press.
What makes a leader? This website explores the qualities and accomplishments that made Franklin a leader three centuries ago and merit his legendary status today. Experience Franklin's life for yourself by reading his Autobiography, appreciate his witty and wise writing by reading Poor Richard's Almanack, and find out interesting facts and anecdotes. People of all ages will enjoy this in-depth exploration of Franklin's life, work, and words.
“Who was Benjamin Franklin and what did he do?” The Electric Ben Franklin appreciates the many sides and trades of Franklin while seeking out the common bond that links them all. A unique feature of the site is Temple's Diary, a fictional account of the adventures of Benjamin Franklin's fifteen-year-old grandson, William Temple Franklin. Explore Franklin's Philadelphia, learn to perform his scientific experiments at home, peruse his famous sayings, and read scholarly articles about him.
This British web site focuses on the history of the Industrial Revolution in the West between the years 1700 and 1830, and contains extensive primary and secondary resources on several important philosophers, inventors, and early industrialists, including essays on their relationship to Franklin. Materials from libraries, museums, and archives allows visitors to explore the lives of Joseph Priestley, Erasmus Darwin, and John Baskerville, among others – friends of Franklin, with whom he visited and corresponded for much of his adult life.
The Royal Society's web site contains the panel text of their 2006 exhibition, Benjamin Franklin In London, which analyses Franklin from the perspective of his reports to the Royal Society and his correspondence with the Society's Fellows. Four sections— A modern Prometheus; A magic circle, 1753-1762; Lightning strikes, 1764-1775; and A friend to Mankind 1775-1785—detail Franklin's scientific pursuits, from electricity to hot-air balloons.
This site is the homepage of the Benjamin Franklin House at 36 Craven Street, London – the world's only remaining Franklin home. For nearly sixteen years between 1757 and 1775, Dr Benjamin Franklin lived behind its doors, and this site tells that story. It also contains information for visitors to the Benjamin Franklin House's museum and educational facilities.

Web Sites Containing Primary Sources

The websites listed below contain primary source documents that are required reading for Franklin scholars of all levels.

Finding Franklin: A Resource Guide
The Library of Congress digital collections guide with links to primary source materials on the life and times of Benjamin Franklin.

Franklin's Autobiography
Full-text of Franklin's Autobiography ,divided into fourteen chapters and including facsimile of the title page from the first edition.
Full-text of Franklin's Autobiography in a single file (html format), adapted from the printed version edited by Charles W. Eliot, L.L.D. (New York: P.F. Collier and Son Company, 1909).
Full-text of Franklin's Autobiography , divided into eight parts and including Charles W. Eliot's introduction to the 1909 edition, a timeline of events in Franklin's life, and a list of web resources.

Franklin Essays, Letters, and Other Writings
Sponsored by the American Philosophical Society and Yale University, this site contains the most extensive collection of materials by, about, and around Franklin and his times to be found in a single collection anywhere in the world
Benjamin Franklin on an Early Marriage (Letter from Benjamin Franklin to John Alleyne, Esquire, October 30, 1789)
Journal of a Voyage (1726) and How I Became a Printer in Philadelphia

Benjamin Franklin As Scientist Web Sites
Paul Pasles, Professor of Mathematical Sciences at Villanova University, introduces visitors to his site to regular magic squares, and then gives a taste of the twist that Franklin put on them. The site contains links to his many articles and lectures on the subject.
In this online science module, Maurice Isserman, Ph.D. tells the story of Franklin's role in charting the Gulf Stream. His article is supported by images and a North Atlantic timeline.
In the eighteenth century, Benjamin Franklin taught the world about electric energy, how it works, and how we can use it. Who better to teach us about energy conservation in today's world? Learn about the importance of saving energy and find out how you can do it in your home, school, and town.
Just what made Benjamin Franklin so fascinating a man and so famous an American? In this Franklin Institute web site, you get a glimpse of his complex personality, his many achievements, and his influence in the world today. You can learn to do his scientific experiments at home and play a virtual glass armonica.
The mission of the Bakken Library and Museum is to further the understanding of the history, cultural context, and applications of electricity and magnetism and their role in life. Its website contains online exhibitions and conference abstracts, a description of a modern-day lightning detector, visitor information, and a wonderfully clear explanation of the science behind Franklin's famous kite and key experiment.
An online museum of vision aids, created and maintained by Dr. David Fleishman. This site sets Franklin's invention of the split-lens bifocals in the context of eyeglasses through the ages.

Web Sites for Younger Patrons
Visit this website and discover life at Franklin Court in Philadelphia. At Franklin Court Kid's Corner, learn how Franklin related with his family, meet his wife Deborah and daughter Sally, and take a look at some objects that they used.